Tallaght family are fighting to care for mother Amanda at home

By Mary Dennehy

A MOTHER-of-four who acquired a serious brain injury after a fall cannot be cared for full-time in her specially adapted Tallaght home due to a one year delay on a HSE care package.

Living in Jobstown, Amanda Denton experienced severe brain trauma after she fell down stairs in May 2014.

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The accident resulted in Amanda undergoing serious brain surgery, after which she lay in a coma for six months.

Back in 2015, her partner Tommy Lee started a nationwide appeal for Amanda, who he believed had been left wasting away in a hospital bed while she waited for a place in the National Rehabilitation Hospital [NRH].

Since Tommy’s appeal, Amanda was placed on a 12-week NRH rehabilitation programme.

However, her family now have another battle on their hands, getting Amanda home from a nursing home.

Last year, the family applied to the HSE for a home care package, which would provide, for example, a home nurse and other supports in the home – and is necessary for Amanda if she is to be cared for by her family.

This care package has not yet been delivered, despite South Dublin County Council providing Tommy and Amanda with a specially adapted two-bed bungalow in Jobstown last November. 

An emotional Tommy told The Echo: “We are fighting to get Mandy home but until we get some sort of a care package from the HSE we don’t have the resources as a family to give Mandy the level of care she needs seven days a week.

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“Amanda is happier at home so while we wait for the care package her family has pulled together and we are managing to care for her four days a week at home.

“A nursing home is not the right environment for Mandy, it’s not the right environment for anybody with a brain injury.

“Her overall mental health is deteriorating.”

He added: “We applied to the HSE for a home care package over a year ago so that we could bring Mandy home.

“We’re not even looking for the maximum package, even a minimum of one or two hours a day would support us in getting her home full-time and give me some support each morning getting Mandy up and helping her to wash and dress.

“However, the HSE is dragging its heels and we’re still waiting.”

Tommy, who is trying to highlight Amanda’s case through the Help Amanda Denton get Rehabilitation Facebook page, wants to get Amanda home so that she can have a “decent quality” of life.

“She has been denied support and rehabilitation since her accident three years ago and the health system is continuing to do nothing”, he told The Echo.

“I don’t understand why they won’t support us in bringing Mandy home, let her family provide the care she is being denied.”

Independent Clondalkin councillor Francis Timmons has been representing the family and he told The Echo: “It is shameful that Amanda Denton has been treated this way, there must be an immediate home package plan put in place so she can return home safely.

“I am informed by HSE Disability Services that due to significant restrictions of resources and funding, disability services are not in a position to respond to this need at this time.

“This is not acceptable and the HSE must immediately find a solution to enable Amanda to return home and live the best life she is able to live.”

He added: “We know in general people do better surrounded by their family and friends in a warm and safe environment… the aim where possible should always be for people to live at home as long as possible with supports in place.”

The Echo put a number of questions to the HSE but a response was not received in time for print.

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